[opendtv] HDTV-compatible PC display interface emerges

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 15:56:02 -0500

Is this mostly a connector design issue? I'm not sure
what UDI is trying to solve?


HDTV-compatible PC display interface emerges

Spencer Chin
(12/20/2005 4:18 PM EST)
URL: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=3D175007096

MANHASSET, N.Y. - Leading PC and consumer electronics
companies have announced they are developing a specification
for a PC digital display interface that is also compatible
with high-definition TV signals.

Penned the Unified Display Interface (UDI), the standard is
expected to replace the aging VGA analog standard and provide
guidelines to ensure compatibility with the DVI standard. UDI
will be also be compatible with HDMI (High-Definition
Multimedia Interface), the standard digital interface for
High Definition TVs (HDTVs) and advanced CE displays.

UDI will be able to use High-bandwidth Digital Content
Protection (HDCP) technology widely deployed in
HDMI-compatible products today. As a result, host platforms
with UDI connectors will be able to plug into monitors and
HDMI-equipped display devices including HDTVs with full
content-use rights management and high-definition video

A Special Interest Group (SIG) of industry leaders has been
formed to develop and continue revising the UDI specification.
SIG's principal members include Apple, Intel Corp., LG
Electronics, National Semiconductor Corp., Samsung Electronics
and Silicon Image Inc. Contributing members include graphics
chip maker Nvidia Corp., semiconductor maker THine Electronics
Inc., and cable and connector makers FCI, Foxconn Electronics
Inc. and JAE Electronics Inc.

Although the SIG is not expected to finalize the UDI Version
1.0 spec until the second quarter of 2006, UDI's proponents
are confident the interface be adopted, and will serve as a
key bridge in the anticipated convergence between the TV and

"We're talking about a PC with a single connector that can
hook up high-definition TVs," said Joe Lee, director of
product marketing, PC/Display Products at Silicon Image
(Sunnyvale, Calif.), which helped develop the interface.

In an interview with EE Times, Lee said that the differences
between the proposed UDI spec and HDMI spec are minor, and
noted that the governing body for HDMI, the HDMI Founders,
are supporting the idea aligning both specs for long-term

"The HDMI Founders support the development of PC products
that are compatible with HDMI," said Les Chard, president of
HDMI Licensing LLC, in a statement. "We are cooperating with
the UDI Promoters to ensure compatibility between HDMI and
UDI devices in the CE and PC industries."

On the PC level, Silicon Image's Lee expects UDI to replace
the antiquated VGA spec, developed 18 years ago for analog
CRTS but woefully inadequate for digital liquid crystal
display (LCD) monitors showing high-resolution images.

"LCD monitors could drop substantially in price, as you can
rip out much of the electronics such as analog-to-digital
conversion circuitry," Lee said.

UDI will also be backward compatible with displays having
the Digital Video Interface (DVI), a video standard Lee
claims has fallen short of promise because it is not
cost-effective for graphics chipsets and suffers from the
lack of a compliance spec. UDI will accommodate proven
high-bandwidth technology based on PCI Express and HDMI's
Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) and allow
use of a small, lower cost connector with optional locking

Lee also believes UDI can replace the S-Video interface now
present on many laptops, a connection suited for
low-resolution TV signals but not the high-resolution signals
required by next-generation audiovisual equipment.

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